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How to Pick the Right Makeup Course near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama makeup school student putting makeup on volunteerNow that you have decided to train as a cosmetologist and enroll in a makeup artist school near Birmingham AL, the process starts to find and enroll in the ideal school. It's essential that the school you select not only furnishes the appropriate training for the specialty you have decided on, but also readies you for passing the licensing examination. When you begin your initial search, you might be a little bit unclear about the contrast between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don't be, because the names are basically interchangeable and both refer to the same kind of school. We'll speak a bit further regarding that in the upcoming section. If you plan on commuting to classes you will need to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Birmingham residence. Tuition will likewise be an important aspect when assessing prospective schools. Just bear in mind that because a school is the nearest or the least expensive it's not necessarily the best option. There are many other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for example their reputation and accreditation. We will examine what questions you should ask regarding the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later within this article. Before we do, let's discuss a bit about what cosmetology is, and what kinds of programs are available.

What is Cosmetology

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist viewing bride's makeupCosmetology is a profession that is everything about making the human body look more attractive with the use of cosmetics. So of course it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Many of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but actually a cosmetic may be anything that improves the look of a person's skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, most states mandate that you go through some type of specialized training and then become licensed. Once licensed, the work settings include not only Birmingham AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gotten experience and a customer base, establish their own shops or salons. Others will begin servicing customers either in their own residences or will travel to the client's house, or both. Cosmetology college graduates are known by many professional names and work in a wide variety of specialties including:

• Hairdressers
• Hairstylists
• Beauticians
• Barbers
• Manicurists
• Nail Technicians
Makeup Artists
• Hair Coloring Specialists
• Estheticians
• Electrolysis Technicians


As formerly mentioned, in most states practicing cosmetologists have to be licensed. In certain states there is an exception. Only those offering more skilled services, such as hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, such as shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.

Makeup Artist Degrees and Certificates

Birmingham Alabama makeup artist using lip liner on young womanThere are basically two avenues offered to get makeup artist training and a credential upon completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) program, or you can work toward an Associate's degree. Certificate programs generally take 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate's degree commonly takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are available if you prefer to focus on just one area, such as makeup. A degree program will also probably incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to run a salon or other Birmingham AL business. More advanced degrees are not common, but Bachelor and Master's degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of program you opt for, it's essential to make sure that it's certified by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. A number of states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain reputable organizations, for example the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will cover the advantages of accreditation for the school you choose in the next segment.

Online Makeup Artist Courses

Online makeup artist courses are advantageous for students who are employed full time and have family responsibilities that make it hard to attend a more traditional school. There are many online cosmetology school programs offered that can be accessed by means of a home computer or laptop at the student's convenience. More traditional cosmetology programs are frequently fast paced due to the fact that many courses are as short as six or eight months. This means that a considerable portion of time is spent in the classroom. With internet programs, you are dealing with the same amount of material, but you are not spending numerous hours away from your home or driving to and from classes. However, it's essential that the program you choose can provide internship training in nearby Birmingham AL salons and parlors in order that you also receive the hands-on training required for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it's impossible to gain the skills required to work in any area of the cosmetology field. So make sure if you choose to enroll in an online program to confirm that internship training is available in your area.

Questions to Ask Makeup Artist Cosmetology Programs

makeup artist applying makeup on client in Birmingham Alabama salonFollowing is a list of questions that you need to research for any makeup artist training program you are considering. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Birmingham residence, as well as the expense of tuition, will undoubtedly be your initial qualifiers. Whether you wish to pursue a certificate, diploma or a degree will no doubt be next on your list. But once you have reduced your school options based on those initial qualifications, there are even more factors that you should research and consider before enrolling in a makeup program. Following we have compiled some of those additional questions that you need to ask every school before making a final determination.

Is the School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the makeup school you enroll in is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged local or national agency, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation can also be important for acquiring student loans or financial aid, which typically are not available for non- accredited schools. It's also a requirement for licensing in some states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, numerous Birmingham AL employers will not hire recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or may look more positively upon those with accredited training.

Does the School have a Good Reputation?  Each makeup artist college that you are seriously considering should have a good to excellent reputation within the industry. Being accredited is an excellent starting point. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of Birmingham AL employers where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, indicating that their students are highly regarded. Check rating companies for reviews along with the school's accrediting organizations. If you have any connections with local salon owners or managers, or anyone working in the trade, ask them if they are familiar with the schools you are considering. They may even be able to recommend others that you had not considered. And finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there have been any complaints submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

What’s the School’s Specialty?  Many cosmetology schools offer programs that are comprehensive in nature, concentrating on all areas of cosmetology. Others are more focused, offering training in a particular specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs often expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it's important that you decide on a school that specializes in your area of interest. If your objective is to be trained as a makeup artist, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your vision is to open a beauty salon in Birmingham AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly rated school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you require.

Is Plenty of Live Training Provided?  Learning and refining makeup skills and techniques requires plenty of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is included in the Birmingham AL beauty classes you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that make it possible for students to practice their growing skills on real people. If a makeup school provides limited or no scheduled live training, but instead relies mainly on the use of mannequins, it might not be the most effective option for acquiring your skills. So search for alternate schools that offer this type of training.

Does the School Provide Job Assistace?  Once a student graduates from a makeup artist program, it's important that she or he receives assistance in securing that initial job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that offer aid maintain relationships with local employers that are seeking skilled graduates available for hiring. Check that the programs you are contemplating have job placement programs and ask which Birmingham AL salons and businesses they refer students to. In addition, ask what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.

Is Financial Aid Available?  Most beauty schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Find out if the Birmingham AL makeup schools you are considering have a financial aid office. Consult with a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you may get approved for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students also. If a school meets each of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not discard it as an alternative until you find out what financial assistance may be available.

Find Out More About Birmingham Makeup Cosmetology Schools

Enroll in the Right Birmingham Makeup Cosmetology College

Locating and enrolling in the right makep program is essential to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Be sure to ask all the questions that you need to so as to feel positive about your decision. Make certain to organize all of the responses you get from the makeup school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then utilize that data to compare schools. A reasonable beginning in your due diligence procedure is to make certain that the college and program you pick are accredited and have excellent reputations within the field. If you start with that foundation, and answer the additional questions presented in this article, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools so that you can make the ideal selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing examination, you will be self-assured that you are qualified to start your career as a professional makeup artist in Birmingham Alabama.


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